Tuesday, June 18, 2024

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ Divorces? How many of my ancestor couples divorced prior to 1900?


Today instead of concentrating on a marriage record, I thought I would find out how many couples in my database/tree were divorced overall and how many before 1900?

I know my own parents were, and my Dad also had a first wife, prior to my Mom. 

Divorce wasn’t always as common as it is today.  I don’t believe it was that couples didn’t have issues, I think it was just handled differently.  They could live apart or they would stay together and continue being miserable.

We have to remember that prior to 1900, women couldn’t own property, most had no means of support.  And shockingly, if they became widows or did divorce, they couldn’t even be guardians of their own children.

As a reference point here is a list of women’s rights, from 1769-1900:1

1769 — The early American colonies base their laws on the English common law, which said, “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law. The very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing and protection she performs everything.”

1777 — All states pass laws taking away women’s right to vote.

1833 — Oberlin College is founded as the first co-educational institution that accepts women and African Americans.

1848 — At Seneca Falls, 300 women and men sign the Declaration of Sentiments, a plea for the end of discrimination against women.

1848 — New York passes the Married Woman’s Property Act. For the first time, a woman isn’t automatically liable for her husband’s debts; she could enter contracts on her own; she could collect rents or receive an inheritance in her own right; she could file a lawsuit on her own behalf. She became for economic purposes, an individual.

1870 — The 15th Amendment is ratified, saying, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” African-Americans may vote now, but women may not.

1872 — Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman to run for U.S. President. She receives few votes.

1890 — Wyoming becomes the first state to grant women the right to vote in its state elections.

1900 — By now, every state has passed legislation modeled after New York’s Married Women’s Property Act (1848), granting married women some control over their property and earnings.

Back to my subject –

·       How many divorces are recorded in my Legacy database? 108

·       How many of those divorces took place prior to 1900? 5

To find these figures using Legacy, I used Find>Detailed Search and then entered the parameters I needed.  You’ve all seen me do these kinds of searches numerous times.

Of the 5 couples who divorced these are the dates I have.

1863, 1865, 1874, circa 1880-1885 and 1899

I have 1786 Individuals or 893 couples who have a recorded marriage date in my tree, prior to 1900.

That’s a lot of marriages and only 5 divorces.  I suspect there are many stories we do not and never will know.

Are you curious how many of your ancestors divorced?

Let me know if you ran a similar report with your software and what the results were.

Source: 1 – History of Women’s Rights in America

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2024   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, June 17, 2024

HERE IT IS - My first post since December of last year

It’s been months since I’ve written a blog post.  As many of you may know, we moved from CA to Montana.  The move hasn’t been easy for 2 senior citizens, but we are now settled.

Thank you to all the readers who have been patient with me and are still planning on reading my posts.

Let’s see if I can get my rhythm back and start telling those family stories once again.  Are there more cousins out there? I hope so.

During the move I’ve located many photos and documents that had been in boxes for years.  Some of those I will be sharing with you.

Let’s get this show on the road. Stay tuned.

Here’s a few photos of me and my hubby, Ron and our dog Libby. The Bitterroot River runs all through our valley here and there are so many beautiful places to walk.  Not to mention the mountain hikes.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2024   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, December 9, 2023

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Helen Marion Lindhorst 1916-1994

Published in The Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois) 24 Jan 1994, page 10

Helen Marion Lindhorst is my maternal 1st cousin twice removed.  She is the only known descendant of my maternal grand uncle Raphael (aka Ralph) Hunter.  Ralph had 8 siblings, seven sisters and one brother.  I’ve researched this family for many years.  I have photos of six of the seven sisters, but not a single one of Ralph or his brother Clyde.  I’m ever hopeful that someday I will find a distant cousin with family photos.  This is why I write blog posts about cousins that may be once, twice or three times removed.  Do they have descendants out there?  If so, perhaps my blog posts will encourage them to contact me.

I have transcribed Helen’s obituary which was published in The Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois) on 24 Jan 1994, page 10.

Helen Marion Lindhorst, nee Hunter, 77, of Dupo, Ill., born Oct 27, 1916, in St. Louis, Mo., died Sunday, Jan 23, 1994 at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, Ill.

Mrs. Lindhorst was a member of First Baptist Church of Dupo, Dupo, Ill., and V. F. W. Auxiliary Post 6368 in Dupo, Ill.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Lucy nee Siler, Hunter; a son, Carl Edwin Lindhorst and a sister, Elsie Beal.

Surviving are her husband, Edwin E. Lindhorst of Dupo, Ill.; a son and daughter-in-law, Col. Joseph R. and Judy Lindhorst of Freeburg, Ill.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan 26 at Dashner Funeral Home in Dupo, Ill., with the Rev. Darrell Atkins officiating.  Burial will be in Evangelical St. Paul Cemetery, Columbia, Ill.

Friends may call from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 8:30 a.m. until the time of service Wednesday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Dupo, Dupo, Ill.

Helen’s mother Lucy was married prior to her marriage to Ralph Hunter and had a son and daughter.  This means Lucy had two step siblings and they are enumerated in the household in the 1920 census.  By 1930 her step sister, Elsie had left the household. I have not yet been able to learn anything about Elsie’s life after leaving her parent’s household. 

I do however, know that Helen’s step brother Joseph Jackson Heathcock died in a diving accident at the age of 25, on 2 Aug 1938.  I believe he had married prior to his death to a lady named Louise, but I am still trying to locate more information about them.

This leads us to Helen.  She married Edwin Lindhorst about 1936.  They had two sons.  Their first, Carl Edwin Lindhorst was born 24 Jul 1937 in Illinois.  He sadly died in a vehicle accident at the age of 17 yrs. I wrote about his death here ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Carl E. Lindhorst, age 17–Dead in a car crash, 1954, Illinois

This means that there is only one known descendant of Edwin Lindhorst and Helen Hunter.  A son, Joseph R. Lindhorst, born about 1949. It appears, based on a newspaper article (The Columbia Star, 28 Mar 1968, page 4) that Joseph joined the U.S. Army.  In many future references to him, I see him referred to as Colonel Joseph R. Hunter.  I believe he married Judith A. Kobylinski in about 1968. 

Since I have not located an obituary or other notice of death for Col. Joseph Lindhorst, I am assuming he may still be alive.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could make contact with him and learn more about his mother, Helen?  Perhaps he has photos of her.  And, oh my, could he have photos of his grandparents, Ralph & Lucy Hunter? 

If you are related to or a descendant of any of the people I listed in this blog post, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s exchange information.

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

CLEANING OUT AN ATTIC ~ What did I find?


What happens when we clean out those closets, drawers and attics?

If we are genealogists, we may come across some family artifacts.  Perhaps we stored them and forgot, or maybe a spouse or other family member put them away?  Whatever the case may be, finding long lost or unknown treasures sure makes me do the happy dance.

As I wrote recently, my husband, Ron and I just made a big move from California to Montana.  In doing so, we were cleaning out the attic (and oh my what a job that was). 

Ron comes across an old suitcase that he says is very heavy.  He hollers down to me (I’m at the bottom of the attic stairs) “what in the world do you have in this old suitcase?”  He carefully hands it down to me.  He’s correct, it’s quite heavy.  I don’t recognize the suitcase at all.  It was one that would be from the 1950s or  1960s. 

Here's an example of the old suitcase, only it was green instead of blue.

Drum role………………………….

I opened the suitcase and found items belonging to Ron’s Mom, her mother and very likely her German grandparents. Ron must have placed this in the attic and forgot about it these past many years. 

My regret is not taking photos of it as I opened it.  I was so much into packing mode that I just moved the items to another suitcase and moved on.  But, here is a list of some of the items I found:

·       Both of the military flags that were presented at Ron’s mother’s military funeral in 1993 and his father’s military funeral in 1966.  These should have been and will now be put in a proper frame and placed in our new home.

·       A small King James Bible that belonged to Ron’s maternal grandmother, Freada Doller Fink (1895-1981).  In it are notes written by Freada about births, deaths and other notable moments in the family.

·       Another King James Bible that was presented to my husband, Ron by his parents in Dec 1956.  Inside this Bible is the record of Ron’s baptism at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in San Diego, California.

·       An Evangelical Hymnal copyrighted 1919.

·       Last but very much not least, a small booklet, entirely in German.  




Kleine Katechismus

fur die gemeinen

Bfarrherren und Brediger


Dr. Martin Luther

St. Louis, Mo

Lutherrifder Concorbia = Berlang

Translated with the help of Google to say the following

the small catechism

for the common people

Bfarrherren and Brediger


Dr. Martin Luther

St. Louis, Mo.

lutherifcher concordia = overlay

There is no copyright on the German booklet and it is in poor condition. 

Did it belong to Freada Doller Fink’s parents?  They were both born in Germany. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1890, a few years prior to Freada’s birth.

Here is a photo of the Bibles and the hymnal.

Please stay tuned as I will be sharing the notes made by Ron’s grandmother Freada in the small Bible.

What other family treasures did I find during “the great packing?” You’ll find out in future posts.

If you’ve found treasures/family artifacts during a move or perhaps a cleaning out, I’d love to hear about them.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Where I've Been and Why I Haven't Been Blogging - Here's the story......

Hello readers.  It's been a while.  In fact, I haven't published a blog post since June 21st this year.  

So, what's been going on?  

Short story.....my husband, Ron and I have moved from California to Montana!!!!

Here we are in front of a Welcome to Montana sign (see it in the back between us)

As you can imagine, it's no small feat packing up a home you lived in for 28 years.  Kudos to all of you who've made a big move in your "later" years.  It was tiring and difficult, but we got it done. 

Libby in our hotel room - Libby and me in the Murano - a snowy road on our trip

For the very first time, we hired a moving company to do all the heavy lifting and some of the packing.  Our household belongings, furniture etc. are now stored safely here in Montana, not far from us.

After a 3 day drive in both vehicles, with our dog Libby in the car with me, we made it here.  I can't say enough about how good our Libby was.  She had never traveled more than an hour in a vehicle and never stayed in a hotel room.  She was amazing.  The total drive took about 19 hours over 3 days. 

Hamilton had just experienced their first snow fall of the season and it was absolutely beautiful.

A view from the front porch and the back patio at the home we are staying in

Why Montana?  We've been coming here for many years and have always been in awe of the beauty of this state.  Over the past 5-6 yrs or so, we decided we would like to live here.  It's no easy task to leave friends, family, doctors and everything you've known for decades.  

But hey! What is life without an adventure or two?

One of the many places along the beautiful Bitterroot River right here in Hamilton

These deer were grazing along a side road on the way to our local dog park

We don't have our own home yet.  We are grateful & fortunate to be staying in a home owned by relatives who head south for the winter months.  Shout out to D & D (you know who you are).

We hope to be able to buy a home in the very near future.

I hope all of you are well.  I look very much forward to sharing more genealogy stories with you.  Thanks for hanging in with me.

Happy Hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall